In the 250th anniversary year of the invention of modern circus, the Roundhouse’s CircusFest 2018 focuses on the future of circus: daring and diverse, punky and poetic, subversive and socially aware. From the spectacular to the intimate, the festival showcases the point where circus collides with theatre, dance, live art, film and even virtual reality.
Founded in 2009, CircusFest is London’s biennial international festival of contemporary circus taking place at the Roundhouse as well as selected partner venues around London. Circus has come a long way since Philip Astley created the first variety show and this year’s CircusFest shows how this art form is always innovating and evolving. With fifteen shows, two film projects and artists from three continents including companies from Sweden, USA, Finland and Palestine, the artists have blown circus apart and are putting it back together in new ways.
The Roundhouse believes in the power of creativity to transform lives and CircusFest explores the difference circus can make, from the pertinent work of the Palestinian Circus School, to the documentary Even When I Fall and its look at Circus Kathmandu, to the Street Circus Collective’s Throwdown, part of the Roundhouse’s activities with 11-25-year-olds.
Headlining this programme are two incredibly powerful productions: the world premiere of Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine from the acclaimed Pirates of the Carabina and the UK premiere of Groupe Bekkrell‘s punk show The Bekkrell Effect.
The Bekkrell Effect is an exhilarating visual feast combining the power of punk with risk and flare. Five performers hurtle around the stage, things fall apart, atoms decay and relationships break up – below the surface is chaos, yet with enough distance everything can be beautiful. Part riot-grrrl pop song, part circus spectacle The Bekkrell Effect is an energising experience.
Inspired by physicist Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity, French company Groupe Bekkrell have created an unstable universe of perpetual movement where matter decays and bonds disintegrate. Powered by the strength of its performers and driven with the momentum of a gig at the end of the world, it is at once comic and revealing.
Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine (RUHM) by Pirates of the Carabina is a world premiere of the brand new mechanically ingenious circus show from the makers of FLOWN. Delving bravely into the fantastical imaginations of two fated acrobats, RUHM is enjoyably anarchic, punchy and exhilarating, with an ingenious interconnected set and original live score.
Featuring vertical-swinging trapeze, never-ending ropes, a spinning carousel, high-wire and a very temperamental staircase, RUHM offers up a playful, humorous modernist parable about time, technology and the forces that drive us.
Highlights of this year’s CircusFest also include the European premiere of The Richochet Project’s Said and Done, 2015 Total Theatre Award winners Palestinian Circus School’s new show SARAB (Mirage), Ellie Dubois’ award-winning Edinburgh smash hit No Show, and the V&A Late highlighting the 250th anniversary of circus and the future of this ever-popular physical, visual art form.
Producers of CircusFest 2018, Molly Nicholson and Daniel Pitt comment, London was the birthplace of modern circus in 1768. Like London, circus is highly international and the Roundhouse presents brilliant artists from around the world regardless of language or borders. We’re looking to the future of circus, celebrating the strength, skill and potency of these incredible artists and joining their pursuit for development in the art form and change in the world.
Official Link: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2018/circusfest-2018/